Freezing Dhangkar Monastery – Snow White Spiti

4

The Journey so far…

After some amazing moments spent at Lhalung, we started for Dhangkar Since, Dhangkar is again one of the oldest monasteries of Spiti Valley, the excitement to see it in different shades of snow was building up.

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar
Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar
Day 5 | Lhalung Village – Lingti – Dhangkar – Kaza

There is an upper road that also goes towards Dhangkar from Lhalung but due to the presence of too much snow, we refrained ourselves taking that route and went back to Lingti first and then took the road towards Schichiling from where the road to Dhangkar starts upwards. Schichiling was further 6 KMs from Lingti, in total 24 KMs from Kaza. The ascending serpentine road of 8 KMs goes just before Schichiling village to Dhangkar Monastery, hence in total Dhangkar is just 32 KMs from Kaza, can say an hours drive. We had already covered 18 of it till Lingti and hence, it did not took us much time to reach Dhangkar as the diversion road was quite good in condition. The views of Dhangkar Monastery in foreground and Spiti River + Pin River Confluence in the background from the road on various vantage hairpin bends in front of it, were just forcing us to stop and click everytime. However, Droje assured that from the last hair pin bend, we will get the best view and quite rightly so…

Snow on the way to Dhangkar from Lhalung
Snow on the way to Dhangkar from Lhalung

Snow on the way to Dhangkar from Lhalung
Dhangkar Monastery – First View
Dhangkar Monastery - First View
Dhangkar Monastery – First View
Dhangkar Monastery - First View
Spiti – Pin River Confluence
Spiti - Pin River Confluence

Spiti - Pin River Confluence
Closer Look – Spiti – Pin River Confluence
Spiti - Pin River Confluence
About Dhangkar Monastery or Dhankar Monastery

Dhangkar is situated at the high altitude of 3894 Mtrs and is about 32 KMs from Kaza towards Tabo. It is located at a 1000 feet hilltop much like a fort overlooking the confluence of Spiti and Pin Rivers in Spiti Valley. By the native language Dhang means a cliff and kar or khar means a fort. Hence, Dhangkar translates to fort on a cliff 🙂 … It is getting ruined by the age of the cliff on which it is located and it is believed to have not much of a lifespan. Various initiatives are going on towards saving this monument at present and you can get in touch with Tsering at Sakya Abode, if you wish to contribute. You can read more about Dhangkar at the Wiki link here.

Coming back to the story, we entered the premises of the Dhangkar Monastery and most doors were closed including the museum. No one explained much about its importance and what is going around to save it so Sany did not have a good experience like other monasteries where we had quite a good and knowledgeable session with the monks especially at Key Monastery and Lhalung Monastery. We clicked around some pictures, went to terrace and other accessible places. The highest vantage point from where the Spiti – Pin River confluence is closely visible was a point to remember. The wind was very strong and that little space with a low fencing gave jitters in my body with a feeling of flying down with the wind. Somehow I managed to get myself clicked but with all concentration of body balanced opposite of the gorge 😀 😀 … It was a moment to remember as we all three experienced the same jitters 😉 …

Dhangkar Monastery
Dhangkar Monastery
Views from Dhangkar Monastery
Views from Dhangkar Monastery
Inside Dhangkar Monastery
Inside Dhangkar Monastery

Inside Dhangkar Monastery

Inside Dhangkar Monastery

Inside Dhangkar Monastery
Dhangkar Village
Dhangkar Village
A House in Dhangkar Village
A House in Dhangkar Village

Finally, we asked Dorje to get us back to Kaza and there was sunlight finally in the day making some pictures come out a bit nicely on the way back to Kaza … Since, the route was repeated so many times on this trip, I refrained from taking much pictures and clicked whatever possible from moving car only. Reached Kaza by late noon, went to shop in the market of Kaza for some groceries and vegetables so that we could cook at least couple of meals by ourselves and lessen the burden of Tsering bhai, his family and motu bhai in our own limits. We handed over some stationaries to Dorje bhai for his brother’s kids and thanked him for all his support in past two days.

Our Ride on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar
Our Ride on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar
Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar
Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Breathtaking Views on the way back to Kaza from Dhangkar

Finally it was time to settle for a long cold day again in Kaza. At night, the snowfall started again and time was to sleep peacefully after having couple of hours of discussions on various topics with Tsering bhai, especially our DoW upcoming Cause, Spiti – 360 Project 🙂 …

I hope you liked this part of the Snow White Spiti Valley Travel Tale. Stay tuned for the next part coming up very soon “Frozen & Locked in Kaza” 🙂 🙂

Have you ever been to Dhangkar Village or Dhangkar Monastery? Or are you planning a drive to Spiti Valley over it sometime soon and have any queries? Do share, in either comments section below or in Itinerary Advice Forum of DoW Community with all other devils 🙂 🙂

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About Author

You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day – Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers… I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here

4 Comments

  1. Planning a winter trip to Kaza (Spiti) . Anything that I should keep in kind except the freezing temperatures?

    • Rahul, well, apart from cold you need to keep several things in mind:

      1. Black ice on road which makes the vehicle skid and at time off the cliff. The injury can cause more pain as it will be high altitude where body is not 100% at its best and above all can leave you in middle of somewhere where heallth facility is not present
      2. Dry pits only will be present in toilets as water freeze in pipes and hence taps + toilets are dried and closed. Only dry traditional pits are used in winters.
      3. Prepare very well with sleeping gear and winter clothing, get something to drink which is hot too. You have to sip in water to acclimatize in a better way.
      4. Try to find a home stay to live in as they are much warmed in comparison to standard hotels.
      5. Of course you need to make sure that you are OK with basic food mainly limited to dal and rice during the stay tenure mostly and standard vegetable like potato.

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